Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Literary Snapshot of Santiago

I found the following letter in scanned images of the St. Paul Press.  The comments are interesting that they reveal the independence of the settlers of the area and still reflect the New England influence.  The author of the letter, "Mouse," is a mystery.  Yet, an interesting writer all the same.

Santiago, July 9, 1872

Editors St. Paul Press:
Not seeing any letters from this part of the state in your columns, I take the liberty of saying a few words in its behalf. …The settlement here is called by outsiders, “St. Francis,” being on the river of that name, and consists of the two towns of Santiago and Glenderado, the latter in Benton County; and it is indeed a very flourishing settlement, composed mainly of New England people.  We have a saw mill and store and school house, and consider the settlement as good as can be found. …we are emphatically a Grant and Wilson town, to say nothing of the county.  We know of but two persons who will vote for Greeley in the coming election. …

The crops in this vicinity are looking well and promise a rich harvest.  A considerable number of fruit trees have been set out here this spring and in nearly all cases are looking finely.  We think apples can be raised here, and we mean to try it anyway. …

Haying is not commenced here yet on account of high water.

The Fourth of July was not celebrated here this year on account of the sickness and death of one of our number, who in times past, has taken a prominent part in the entertainment.  His name was Hiram Gilman, one of the oldest men in here, and universally loved and respected.

More, anon, from a constant reader of your valuable paper.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A New Funeral Practice

I found an interesting news report in The Becker Herald published on 30 August 1934.  The article adds some new light to the study of funeral practices and customs.

The Herald reports that “for the first time in Becker the loud speaker was used” in a funeral service.  The report goes on to say that the “microphone was placed in front of the pulpit and the amplifier in the corner” of the room.  “The voice was carried smoothly to all parts of the church,” it read.

It is interesting to contemplate the original use of a microphone in a church, or for a funeral.  Imagine the difficulty of trying to deliver a eulogy while having to shout every syllable to insure that everyone in a large crowd was able to hear.  What a challenge it must have been to make an attempt at solemnity while shouting at the top your lungs!

I think I have found a new respect for 19th century ministers.